Thursday, November 9, 2017

2017 Run the Bridge 10k: Race Report

I haven't done a race since Broad Street last May.  I had grand plans to sign up for all of my usual fall races this year, but one by one they came and went without me ever having pulled the trigger.  It would seem I have lost my running mojo.

I finally signed up for a race I did for the first time last year: The Cooper Norcross Run the Bridge 10k in Camden, NJ.  I ran it last year in just over 41 minutes, which still stands as my 10k PR.  It was a thrilling race that ended in a photo finish with a fellow runner from Who's Up on a perfect fall day, so I have good memories from this race and was keen to relive them.

Unfortunately I was just getting over being sick and I wasn't able to run to my potential.  I considered dropping out completely, but I couldn't bear the thought of a DNS, or wasting the $50 entry fee, so I managed to pull myself out of bed on Sunday morning and head over to Camden.  I told myself to just start the race and if I needed to I could always stop at the halfway point which is very close to the finish area.  But then I couldn't bear the thought of a DNF either, so I finished the whole thing.

Philly running friend Willa and I got to the starting line on the NJ side of the Ben Franklin Bridge just as the race was about to begin.

We placed ourselves into the sea of people as best as possible because there weren't any signs for paces or corrals (or at least that we could see).  At 8:30 the race began.  I set off at about a 9 minute pace, and Willa quickly pushed ahead of me.

I never run with a phone, but since I knew I would be running slowly, I decided to bring it with me so I could take pictures on the bridge. 

The first half of the race is an out and back on the bridge, the only time foot traffic is allowed on the main area of the bridge (except when the Pope is in town).  When I got back to the Camden side and crossed the halfway mark, I was still going pretty slowly but decided I felt good enough to finish the race, so I continued to slowly plod through the streets of Camden.

Around mile 4, I saw this guy:

At mile 5, employees from the Haddonfield Running Company were manning the water stop, so I got a selfie with Shawn:

And finally, after 52 minutes of running, I entered the outfield of the stadium, and shortly thereafter crossed the finish line.

I was just happy that I finished after all and I didn't start a major coughing fit en route, though my deepest apologies go to my fellow runners who had to witness my snot rockets, both their frequency and the sheer volume of snot expelled. 

The winner finished in 31 minutes.  Everyone from Who's Up finished well ahead of me as well.  Willa finished in 47:17.

There was a beer garden at home plate pouring Yards Brawler and Pale Ale, and I got myself a Brawler and hung out for a bit with Willa and Erik.

I love this race and hope to continue to do it for years to come.  I was feeling lousy both from being sick and from the prospect of getting out of bed so early on a Sunday morning, but it's true that you never regret a run once it's over.

It was definitely a novelty to stop so often during a race to take pictures and not worry about a time or pushing myself hard at all.  I can see why people like to do it, but for me, the true appeal of signing up for and running a race will always be pushing myself as hard as I can.  I really missed that this time around.

My next race will be later this month - the Haddon Township Turkey Trot, which I do every year.  After that, who knows?  Hopefully 2018 will bring a renewed vigor to my running.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...